Vaults of Vaarn: Visitors custom race

I’ve been kind of obsessed with this little RPG zine called Vaults of Vaarn, if my review of it didn’t tip you off. If you’re not going to click that link, it’s a really great little science-fantasy weirdo RPG setting placed in a post-post-post apocalyptic desert loaded with mutants, weirdos, and strange creatures.

Since an outsized portion of my brain has been dedicated to thinking about Vaarn, I decided to write some of those thoughts down and arrange them into a bit of new fan content for the setting. It’s implied that Urth, the planet that Vaults of Vaarn is set on, was once an advanced and prosperous world with immensely powerful technology. It seems obvious to me that space travel would be possible in this world – so why not add space aliens to the Vaults?

So, I present to you my Vaults of Vaarn fan race: the Visitors. Click the jump to enjoy. All credit goes to Leo Hunt, AKA graculusdroog for the creation of Vaults of Vaarn itself.

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101 Dalmatians: Escape from DeVil Manor haunts me to this day

There’s something about the 101 Dalmatians franchise that enraptured me as a child against all odds.

Be outraged if you must, but truth be told, I’m not even sure if I had watched the original movie at that age. When I watched it as an adult, I remembered nothing about it, and I’ve never found a VHS of it in my family’s extensive Disney tape collection.

And I mean, what about it actually drew my attention? The main characters are British heterosexuals. Yes, somehow they managed to take the two most annoying groups of people in the world and combine them. And then they had the audacity to make the dogs British and heterosexual, as if dogs are capable of hate. Absolutely dreadful. Why do I like 101 Dalmatians?

Because of the puppies. Duh.

Even Disney knew the puppies were the only reason 101 Dalmatians is even relevant enough to talk about today. And boy, the merch they made. Sequels! Cartoons! Toys! I think I spent more time playing with my Dalmatians-themed snow globe than watching 101 Dalmatians: The Series (which, admittedly, still takes up way too much space in my heart).

There was one piece of Dalmatians-themed memorabilia that held my attention for the longest, though, and it was by far the least appropriate for the puppy-obsessed children they were marketing to. For little me, 101 Dalmatians: Escape from DeVil Manor was fun, emotionally stimulating, and also absolutely unnecessarily terrifying.

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The Grilled Cheese Burrito doesn’t redeem Taco Bell, but we’re eating there again

The Grilled Cheese Burrito was introduced at Taco Bell back in like, July, and it wasn’t until now that we’ve decided to review it. It’s not like we hadn’t had it since it came out – we’ve eaten it several times and, spoiler alert, find it really good. We’re just still bitter about the Taco Bell Menugeddon that happened around the same time period. We don’t want to give Taco Bell much attention right now.

But like a siren, the Grilled Cheese Burrito calls to us. We hear its song. The promise of crisp cheese on the outside of the burrito, and a filling almost but not exactly like our old favorite, the Beefy Fritos Burrito. We cannot resist. We must, must have this burrito. And so we did. And we had it again, and again, and again.

We broke our own oath over this thing. We pledged that we would stop eating at Taco Bell, that they had hurt us for the last time. But we knew we couldn’t stay away. It’s too, too hard. Hit the jump and you can find out what makes it so irresistible for yourself. 

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Homemade Dole Whip fills a void in my life

If you’re a long-time follower of this blog, you’re amazing, and also you may remember the Dole Whip Saga. In short: I really, really want to try Dole Whip, a pineapple-flavored soft-serve ice cream treat that can only be found in Dole-sponsored locations, the most prominent ones being Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

It has been over two years since the first installment of the Dole Whip Saga. I am going to be honest with you, dear reader, that things have not gotten much better for me since then.

A few months ago I got a chance to try Taco Bell’s Pineapple Whip, which satisfied the primal desire to taste a pineapple frozen beverage, but brought me no closer to enlightenment. Other than that, the chances of me ever obtaining a Whip have drastically lowered in light of the pandemic. In fact, Walt Disney World is now probably one of the worst places in America that I could go to for any reason, and it will probably remain that way for a long time. Going to Disney would be a moral crime, not only to myself, but to my loved ones and everyone around me. It is unthinkable.

Other things have changed since that fateful July of 2018. I’ve gained a better understanding of what Walt Disney World even is. For some reason when I wrote the original article I was sincerely convinced that the mascot characters talked. I also have a short list of rides I would like to go on (mostly Haunted Mansion), none of which my wife shares my enthusiasm for, because I think my wife would be a lot happier if I did not want to go to Walt Disney World in the first place.

Since I love my wife and do not enjoy causing disdain, I tried to refocus my goals into more realistic ones.

It turned out that the Minnesota State Fair serves Dole Whip! Holy crap! I’ve been to the fair multiple times and I’d never even seen it before. That was very achievable, and that became the new plan. I would go to the Minnesota State Fair, a place I associated otherwise with pain and sweat and resentment, and I was going to enjoy myself. I even started exercising with the hopes that I’d be able to fit on the fair’s admirable selection of rides.

And then, you know, literally everything happened.

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Cheetos Mac ‘n Cheese is okay.

When does irony stop mattering?

Advertisers understand that irony has been a powerful marketing force for years now. Just look at the state of many products: marketers no longer try to assure us that their products are superior, or quality, or even good. They openly and unabashedly embrace the idea that their goods are bad, strange, and comedic. “Honesty” is valued above anything else – so what if the product is garbage? You know you want it, you slob!

And we – I specifically mean food reviewers, including us here at Eggware.XYZ – fall for it every time. There’s almost nothing we can do to keep ourselves from eating these awful foods, talking about how bad they are, how absolutely awful these things are, what were they thinking? The companies that produce this garbage love it when we do this. There’s no way to actually and accurately communicate something is bad anymore. “No such thing as bad publicity” has been actively weaponized. The more we mock them, the more we insult them, the more we bemoan their terrible practices, the stronger they get.

So it’s with a heavy heart that we have decided to review the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Mac ‘N Cheese today. We know just by acknowledging this product’s existence, we’re letting Frito-Lay score a win over us. We don’t care anymore. To paraphrase Allen Ginsberg, you can’t win, you can’t break even, you can’t even leave the game. The world has to know how awful this stuff is.

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